That time Kirk Gibson replaced A.J. Hinch as Arizona Diamondbacks manager

Chris Thomas
Detroit Free Press

A.J. Hinch is the new Detroit Tigers manager, bringing him back to the franchise for which he played in 2003 and reuniting him with ...

The manager who replaced him?

Well, sort of. 

In 2010, Kirk Gibson, the Tigers hero who now serves as a color commentator on the Fox Sports Detroit broadcast, was promoted from bench coach to interim manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks after Hinch was fired mid-season — along with general manager Josh Byrnes. 

"A.J.'s personality and Gibby's personality are opposites," third baseman Mark Reynolds said at the time. "Gibby's fiery and seems ready to go every day. You can't really convey that as a bench coach. He's not in charge; it's not really his place. But now that he's running the ship and it's his team to manage, the fans and the media are going to see a lot more of the old Gibby. It should be a kick in the butt."

Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch, left, with Tigers hero Kirk Gibson, who helped propel the franchise to World Series victory in 1984. Gibson was named interim manager when Hinch was fired by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010.

Gibson managed the Diamondbacks until being fired in 2014. He won the National League West and earned manager of year honors in 2011, and finished with a 353-375 record in his managerial stint. 

Hinch, now 46, was hired in Arizona just before his 35th birthday, making him the youngest manager in baseball at the time. He finished 89-123 in his one-plus seasons in Arizona. 

After spending four years as director of amateur scouting for the San Diego Padres, he was hired by the Astros in 2015, where his managerial career took off like a rocket ship. He guided Houston to the playoffs for the first time in 10 seasons in his first year. And while he missed the playoffs in 2016, despite having a winning record, he bounced back in 2017 in a big way as the Astros won the World Series. 

Hinch took the Astros back to the American League Championship Series in 2018 and back to the World Series in 2019, where they fell to the Washington Nationals.

He was fired after the season for his role in the Astros' sign-stealing scandal in 2017 and served a one-year MLB suspension. 

He was 481-329 in his five seasons in Houston. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Chris Thomas is the sports editor at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter @bychristhomas.